Dead or Alive

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Chapter 9: THE SHADOWS RETURN

The morning has arrived and with it, the Shadows. The house was being turned upside down by the Shadows, evidently looking for left over pieces of my created friends. The black creatures were cleaning up after themselves.

Still in my bed, the Shadows entered my room, crawling on the ceiling above me, hissing and staring at me. I rose from the bed, and commanded them to come to me. They fought my command, angry that I could control them, yet, they came before me, as ordered.

There were 5 shadows, encircling me. They wanted to take me like they did the invisibles, but couldn’t control my spirit. I held up my hand to stop them from moving, hissing and growling.

“You have taken my friends without approval from me. Return them now, and I will spare your existence. The Shadows knew I was different than other spirits they steal, and stopped moving.

Looking at me, their nonexistent faces hidden behind the black robes they wore, an odor of death filled the room. The Shadows turned to dust, only a vapor was left behind, as they left the room, the house, never to return. My friends were gone, and there was no way to get them back. To replace them, my Dreams or Schizoid creations would be my last hope.

I walked outside to the patio, with my coffee and toast, sat on my favorite chair and watched the early morning risers skate, jog or bike pasted me. Real life was kind of nice, but I still felt lost, without my friends.

A group of people walking on the promenade smiling and leaning on my wall. “Good morning,” they smiled. “Are you Jon?” a short, stout man of 40/ 45 years of age, asked me.

“Yes, can I help you?”

“would you mind if we hop your wall here, and join you for coffee?” They asked me.

“Sure, why not. Take a seat and I’ll bring the coffee out for all of us. There were 3 men and two women, dressed in bathing suits, smelling like suntan lotion, and middle aged. I returned with the cups and saucers, and a fresh pot of coffee. “Help yourselves,” I told them.

One of the men, a short, balding man, reddish face, big smile, was wearing a bathing suit with writing on it. I kept looking at the man’s crotch, trying to read the words to no avail.

“You trying to get into my crotch or read what’s on my bathing suit?” The little man smiled.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to offend you. I was just trying to read your crotch.” I laughed as did the others sitting at the table.

“Come over here and look,” the man said. “Not every day my crotch is the center of discussion.” He said laughingly.

“Hamburger Bob’s,” I said. “Your crotch reads Hamburger Bob’s?”

“Yes, my favorite little restaurant on the sand. Have you tried his burgers?” the little man smiled.

“As a fact, I have. Those burgers are my favorite too.” I smiled. “I didn’t know that Old Bob sold swimming trunks and burgers.” I smiled.

“How did you all know my name?” I questioned them.

“Well Jon, someone you know told us about you, and that you had an opening for new friends.” A small petite woman, long blond hair, super fit body, full of smiles, explained.

“An opening? I don’t understand.” I frowned. “Who referred you?”

“A girl friend of mine. “she said.

“What’s your friends name?” I asked her.

“Later Jon, can we just talk, enjoy the moment here with you, on the patio, and drink our Whiskey? I meant, coffee.” She laughed. “whiskey is for later, right Jon?”

“Yeah, sure thing. How about you all telling me your names, you know mine.” I asked them.

“Okay, she said, my name is Poppy. I’m 25, single and looking for a man.”

Poppy was a doll.

“My name is Bob, and I like hamburgers and whiskey,” he laughed. A big man, well over weight, and laughed like Santa Clause.

“I’m Marilinda, also 25, but I have a man, and he is here next to me.” She smiled.

“I’m her man, but you can call me George. I love whiskey, Marilinda, and howling in grave yards at midnight. Oh, I am 34.” He laughed. “Do you like raising the Dead at midnight, Jon?”

“Yeah, sure.” I smiled, knowing that the last person, a man, would be Poppy’s Father.”

“I’m Frank, father of Poppy. I won’t tell you my age, but I will race anyone from here to the pier and beat them.” He laughed.

“You’re all back, every miserable loving one of you.” I began hugging each one of them.

Poppy came over to me. “Sandy.” She said.

“What?” I questioned.

“Her name is Sandy, my friend who sent us here to meet you.” Poppy smiled.

“Well, thank God for Sandy.” I smiled. “You remind me of her.”

“Yeah, Sandy told me you were looking for a partner, a girl just like me.” Poppy smiled. “But don’t tell my dad.”

Frank and the others laughed, asked me if I had any whiskey, and did I like surfing? I said yes to both questions, went into the house for a bottle of brown liquid, returning to find Bob, queuing up the BBQ.

“You like to BBQ Mr. Bob?” I asked him.

“look at my stomach.” He laughed. “I like to eat and Q.”

My invisibles were back, different names, ages and looks, but they were back.

“Who likes clowns?” I asked.

With one turnabout, to get the hamburger patties, I returned to find 4 fully dressed Clowns, staring at me. “Welcome home guys.” I said affectionally. Poppy, like Sandy, wasn’t dressed up in clown attire. She was happier standing next to me, with her hand, slowly reaching for mine.

I have been given a second chance, to live with the invisibles again. The Shadows won the battle but lost the war. A deep breath, and my secret world was back in place, but with different names.

We opened the brown liquid, filled the shot glasses full, and all smiled at one another. I know the replacement invisibles didn’t know the depth of my past Schizoid/Dream world, or friends thereof, but they were a timely gift, free from the Shadows.

We spent the day eating, drinking, and talking until sundown. George wanted to surf, so we all staggered to the little Jimmy’s surf shop to rent a board.

We all entered Jimmy’s shop, looking at surf boards. I asked Jimmy how much for how long in the water? Jimmy was reluctant to rent to me after the last time with Mr. Tiberon eating his board, but, money was money. We got the board and headed to the water.

The clowns were ready to rock and roll and George wanted the first shot at the waves. Everything was back on track. We were all together again. And the night was young.

I let the group hang out on the beach, surfing, playing and talking to one another. I watched them for hours laughing, happy, still wearing their clown outfits. I was a bit sad, that no one else could see them, except me.

We made it back to the house, I divided up the rooms for everyone to use, except mine. My room would be for Poppy and me. Poppy agreed, so everything was now put back together as before.

A night out in my car would be cool. Run the roads around the cliffs and speed along highway 101 looking for Cops to ticket us for speeding, then finish the night back at the house, on the patio, watching the people on the promenade.

Shadows gone, my life back to normal, what could be better. I still needed to check the color of my blood, and see if I had Alien genes in my system. Maybe a small cut will do the trick. I can check it out.

We all settled in for the night. Poppy and I went to our room, removed our clothes, and jumped under the covers. This girl was exactly what I needed after the Shadows took my invisibles away.

Poppy slept quietly and I felt the need to sit outside for a while, in the patio, alone. So many thoughts were swirling around in my mind, but good thoughts.

I felt so peaceful, relaxed and content. My life had returned to me the way it was before the Shadows interfered.

The patio, the evening breeze and my box of valuables stood before me. It was time to open the box and review my thoughts about the past few days events, the pasted years as well.

Sitting outside, watching the waves crash into the sandy beach front was relaxing. I had taken the box that was under my bed and brought it outside with me. When all this confusion started, with the Dreams and Schizoid visions, I put two things into the box for safe keeping. Two objects I believed to be real, and life threatening.

I figured after the ordeal with the Shadows, it was time to check the box and make sure my two treasured items were secure. My Death Certificate was one of the items, that to this day, still confounds me. I can’t remember why the Doctor issued a Death Certificate on me. I awoke, on the Coroners table, alive, before she began an autopsy on me. The Death Certificate, was signed, sealed, and issued in my name as being Deceased.

The other item was an anomaly for me. I knew the boat trip to Atlantis was a Dream, mixed with my Schizoid visions. It seemed real, but the timing that passed, was fast, too fast. The Alien hookup was probably something I saw on television one day, and brought it back in a dream, later. The Green Blood will come later.

Anyhow, the other item was a Key, the very Key I possessed from the past, to start the Alien ship and send them back to their Planet. The key was something I possessed for the past 30 years, well before Atlantis. It was the key in my dreams, nothing that was conjured up, rather something hidden, unknown to all. This key was my access to the Doctor, and his two Nurses. It was the key to the Door, the Door that led to rejuvenation.

When my dream ended, I couldn’t find the key. Later, beneath my bed, a box with gold and silver etchings held the key inside. I had never seen the box before that night. I placed the Death Certificate inside the box with the door key, closed the lid, locked it, and put the box back under my bed. the contents of the box have never been seen by anyone, even to this day.

My coffee was getting cold, so I microwaved it, and returned out to the patio. So much peace. The darkness in my mind was slowly lifting. I was remembering everything.

The night air was refreshing. Poppy came out to sit with me, in the patio.

“You can’t sleep Jon?” she asked me, wrapping her arms around my neck, kissing my cheek.

“Just reminiscing about the things that have happened in my life, in the past few days, years.” I smiled.

“Are you okay?” She frowned.

“Poppy, I am perfect, thank you.” I kissed her again. “Just having a cup of java, and enjoying the evening watching the people walking the promenade. So much happiness, hand holding and hugs by those passing by. I can feel the love in the air, as some would say.”

“I’m going to return to the bed. Don’t be too late. I am cold, and need you to keep me warm.” She giggled lovingly.

“Good night my love.” I smiled and blew her a kiss. Back to the Key.

My original dream of a Door and a Door Man came to me 30 years ago, after I was diagnosed with bone cancer. That was the first time I had met the Door Man. I was in a wheel chair, waiting to have one leg amputated, refusing the surgery.

The timing of these events is still a bit foggy in my mind, but through the cobwebs, I am trying to piece the events together.

My dream came one night, with me rolling to a Door in my wheel chair, meeting the Door man and being insulted by him. I was refused entrance. Night after night, dream after dream. After the 6th dream, I was now standing before a Doctor and his two Nurses, waiting for an experimental element to be ingested into my body. I had to produce a password, and sign an agreement with the makers of Element 55.738AB, before the element could be administered to me. Also, the Doctor wanted payment before ingestion. He accepted my life as payment.

The surgery on my leg was cancelled, and an experimental drug, Chemo, was given to me in lieu of chopping off my leg. Confusion hit me hard. My dream world gave me an injection of an experimental Element, and the real world filled my blood stream with Chemo, to combat the Cancer.

At this point, my Dreams were starting to blend with my reality. Schizoid was marching towards them both, soon to lead the way.

This scenario went on for 6 days, and on the seventh day, the Drug given me, the Chemo, caused my death. A Death Certificate was issued, they embalmed me for burial.

I woke up while inside a freezer in the Coroners Morgue, alive. The Coroner saw me dressing, and fainted. I finished dressing myself, took the Certificate of Death and left, struggling to walk, and breathe.

Back at my house, exhausted, and full of embalming fluid, I passed out on the bed. The Doctor in my Dream came to help me, giving me another ingestion of the Element 55.738AB, as It happened in my dream. This element evidently counter acted the embalming fluid, turning my blood black, then green.

No longer did I possess the color of Red Blood inside my body. No longer was I the same person. My death was now my resurrection.

I finished my coffee, leaning back on my chair, still not understanding this narrative I just reviewed in my head, about the past 30 years of Dreams, Chemo, Element 55.738AB, and now my Schizoid Invisibles.

The real question was how I am still alive. My bone cancer is in remission, I can walk without a wheel chair or walker, and I am 47 years younger and an immortal. Maybe someday, someone will explain everything to me.

I continued enjoying the evening and those walking the promenade. It was late, and Poppy was waiting for me to come to bed. How great is that? Living with invisibles, laughing, playing, surfing, BBQ.

I could go on and on, but there was one thing that solidified my relationship with the Schizoids as I call them, their love, their undying love for me. The real world just didn’t cut it for me. I was where I belonged.

I closed the house, locked the doors, and went to bed. I felt uneasy but didn’t know why, until all the lights came on, including the T.V., the Radio and microwave. I returned to the living room.

Sitting in the corner chair, was a man, dressed in black pants, black shirt, black top hat, smoking a cigar. His shoes were missing, and his huge black overcoat was opened to his waist.

“Who are you and what are you doing in my house?” I starred him down.

“You came to my house and disturbed one of my users.” He said, angrily.

“You still didn’t answer my questions.” I said.

“It is your time.” The man in Black responded.

“You’re talking in riddles, what time is that?” I asked.

“You have been living free for the past 30 years and it’s time to come with me.” He demanded.

“I’m going to ask you again, one more time, who are you and what are these riddles about?” I questioned him.

“You probably know me as the Ripper, the Grimm Reaper.” He said.

“Give me a break, I am not dead, sir.” I pointed my finger at him. “Isn’t this a lot of drama on your part, Hollywood style?”

“You flatter me. You have a DEATH CERTIFICATE, correct?” He argued

“and?” I commented

“You are the party referenced in the Document, are you not?” The intruder smiled.

“You still haven’t told me your name.” I yelled at him, waking up the invisibles.

The man dressed in all black, tipped his hat, bowed, and introduced himself as the UNDERTAKER. The invisibles entered the living room, confused as to who this person is and why he is here

Interesting enough, this Undertaker could see the invisibles, smiling at them. Poppy came to my side as the front door opened slowly and the Shadows entered the room.

“Are you coming with me peacefully or by force. You have overstayed your time here, and now you must come with me.” The shadows encircled me and stood waiting for instructions from the UNDERTAKER.

The first thing that entered my mind was another dream had engulfed me, or this Undertaker was another Schizoid to join the group. What I didn’t know for sure, was why the Shadows.

George, the counterpart to Parker, stood up for me, telling the Undertaker to take the Shadows and leave this place now, or suffer the consequences.

The Undertaker laughed and waved his hands. The Shadows grabbed me and we swooshed through the door, outside, heading for the Cemetery. The Invisibles were right behind the Shadows, and the Undertaker, pulling them down to the ground, fighting to free me. I could now see the faces of the Shadows, hidden in the robes they were wearing. They were screaming, pulling me away from the invisibles finally to arrive at an open grave in the Cemetery.

“Your dreams and Schizoid invisibles will not be able to save you, Mr. Jones. Accept it. It is your time.” The Undertaker threatened.

“The hell with you. I am not dead.” I yelled at the Undertaker.

“You just reviewed your life story for the past 47 years. Don’t you remember dying?” He said.

“Look, Underwear, underdog, under whatever. Does our friend look dead to you?” George said with conviction.

“He may not look dead, but he is dead,” the Undertaker frowned.

“If he bleeds, will you concede he is alive?” George questioned him.

“Yes,” the Undertaker stated. “Then let me cut him, his finger, for all of you to see. After that experiment, if he does not bleed, will all of you let me put him into this grave?”

The Invisibles looked at Jon for approval. Jon shook his head in agreement, and the Undertaker crossed the open grave, took out his dagger, and pricked Jon’s finger.

The bleeding began, but not as expected. Jon’s blood was green, the color of the embalming fluid. There was not a drop of red blood coming from his finger. The Undertaker looked at the invisibles and shook his head.

“Do you all agree that Jon is Dead?” The undertaker frowned.

The 5 were astonished, confused but still faithful to Jon. “Hey, green is in this year, so what’s the problem here?” Burger Bob said with warnings.

Jon now knew the whole story. He had been dead for 47 years and refused to ascend when asked. Jon stayed with his illness, his Chemo, dreams, and Schizoid friends, here on Earth, knowing that his death was proved by the Coroners, and a Death Certificate. Jon was starting to remember the past, and now the present.

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